EDITORIAL: ASI elections need more participation


Photo by Ben Patton/The Runner

Elections for Associated Students Inc. at CSU Bakersfield are just around the corner, and despite an increase in student enrollment, the percentage of students voting decreased last year.

This year, it is essential students go out and vote for candidates that are running for ASI leadership positions.

ASI candidates have already started campaigning and will continue to do so until May 26. The polls will be open from May 25 to May 26.

Last year, only 23 percent of students voted in the ASI elections, which was even fewer than the year before of 24 percent.

While the 24 percent in 2014 is the highest in CSUB history, that’s an embarrassing number.

That’s not even half of the student body voting in ASI elections, especially considering the fact that everything is done online.

Yes, a lot of students may not care about elections in general, and this is probably even more evident for student government. However, as students, we should all care because it affects us in so many ways.

The potential student leaders that are campaigning and those which get elected can have such a huge impact on our campus. They will be the voices of the student body, they will decide what club events get funded, and they will represent all other students.

More students need to vote and get the candidates we wish to see in those positions. There are more than 9,000 students on this campus. Therefore, to have another election with less than 25 percent of the student body voting would mean that less than 2,300 students are voting for an election which has so many implications on what students will see next year.

Obviously, that is not the opinion of the whole student body at CSUB, but if we are not being more active and vote in ASI elections, then there will be no change in those numbers.

Part of this responsibility has to fall on current ASI members informing students of the elections and engaging the student body about it. Additionally, ASI, other organizations and clubs on campus should be active about emailing students early on and often in regards to the election.

Sure there might be students who think their votes don’t matter, but they do.

Every vote matters.

Students need to make an effort to vote at this year’s election. Yes, students are busy with classes and work. However, it’s not hard to take time to become informed about the candidates and their platforms. Doing so will help students make an informed vote.

Students want to complain or praise what ASI has done this past year and wish they did a better job or continue to do a good job, then students need to make their voices be heard and actually vote this year for the candidates they wish to see in those leadership positions.

The voting percentage of students at CSUB needs to be higher than 25 percent this year.